Picture yourself sitting in the front right seat of a vehicle making its way down the road. Your client is in the back on the cell phone conducting business. The road is smooth; the driver that you met just a few minutes ago seems competent enough. Sure, the car could be a bit cleaner but you are pretty sure the client didn’t notice.
Suddenly the driver turns to you and asks about a fork in the road ahead. Which is the best route to take? Unfortunately, you don’t know, you didn’t have time to travel the route prior to today so you tell the driver to “just pick one”. He does- and it’s the wrong one. You have now gotten the principal to his destination 30 minutes late.
Once inside the venue, the principal is mobbed by the paparazzi as he tries to make his way to his destination. Sure, there was a better way to enter and bypass the paparazzi, but you were not aware of it, you were too busy to do a proper advance.
This detail is a complete and utter disaster! Does this sound like you?
I hope not.
There is no way you would ever not do your due diligence. No way that you would not do an advance on the route or venue, and it is highly doubtful you would just hire a driver without doing some background work first, right? Of course, you wouldn’t, you are a professional.
So what about your career, your life, your future? Have you done the advance work on those things? Have you got a career plan? Have you planned out a safe secure route for yourself and what you hope to accomplish? Have you made a plan that shows where you are going and how you are going to get there?
In other words, do you have goals and objectives?
Take a moment and consider some of the people who have achieved a measure of success in this business. What sets apart the highly successful people from those that just get by? There may be several things, but some common traits are, their focus, their drive, and their determination to follow through and make things happen. How do they keep on a path to success?
They have measurable and attainable goals and objectives!
A couple of words in that last sentence should jump off the page for you. Measurable and attainable are very important terms when you decide to use goals as a part of your business (and life) plan. It is very important to have both short term and long term goals, and it is vital that you are able to achieve the goals in order to continue your forward motion.
Often times when we write down our goals we are either too vague or too broad. Doing this creates an environment where the attainment of those goals is hindered. How can you make sure your goals are attainable? This is where objectives come into play.
Goals are the broad intentions that define what you want. Objectives are the specific tasks that define the steps needed to achieve your goals. Goals and objectives are like a roadmap. Together they clearly define where you are going to end up, and how you are going to get there.
You should use objectives as steps to attain your goals. For example, let’s say you have the goal to better position yourself as a highly sought after specialist in the protection business with a focus on Celebrities. In order to achieve that, one of your objectives should obviously be to get more specialized training. The objectives would be your time frame and the venue. So instead of just saying “I want to get more training” and leaving it at that, you would say, for example, “I want to attend the ICON Social Summit in January in Orlando Florida (www.ConquerTheSummit.com.), and take advantage of the training as I know some of the presenters specialize in Celebrity Protection and networking opportunities that will be offered there. Now you have a defined goal that also has a timeline attached to it. That’s smart, in more ways than one!
One of the most recognized tools for goal making is the S.M.A.R.T. method. SMART is an acronym that stands for:
S = Specific
M = Measurable
A = Attainable
R = Realistic
T = Time (what’s the timeframe to achieve it?)
The SMART method is a great tool to help you start setting your goals today. There are clear definitions in the SMART acronym that tell you how each goal should be laid out. Follow the principles outlined in SMART and you can turn your goals into reality!
Again I will ask you to think about those that have achieved success in this business. What do goals mean to them? The easiest way to get the answer is to ask. If you want the best advice, you seek out the best people (use the network!). Makes sense right?
I contacted my friend Mark James at Panther Protection Services. We talked about the importance of having goals and here is what he had to say:
“Setting goals are a critical part of my ongoing growth and development. Whether in my business or personal life, whether I am talking about increasing revenues, diversifying my client base, publishing a new book or enhancing my cardio, without goals you don’t have a means to calibrate or measure your performance. It is through goals that I can objectively measure myself, my team members, my client, and our vendor relationships. “If you are in business and you are not prepared to set goals, you may as well call it a hobby.”
Are you in business or is this just a hobby?
Make a 5-year plan, a one year plan, a monthly plan, and a weekly or daily plan. Use to-do lists or whatever method works for you where you can track, adjust, and reach your goals. Once you use goal-setting to map out your dreams you will also discover that you are not only able to decide what you want to achieve in your life, you can also begin to separate what’s important from what’s irrelevant (or simply a distraction), and you will motivate yourself. You may even start to realize as you achieve your goals, that a process has been set in motion where successes are easier to come by, and your self-confidence is raised as well!
“Most people are caught up in the trap of making a living rather than designing a life.”
Which do you want? Just make a living, or design a life? The choice is yours. The tools to make it happen are there. It is up to you to choose to do something today! Start setting your goals now and soon you will find your life and your career soar! You may even wonder how you ever did without it. I know I did.
Have You Got A Career Plan?
By Russ Saunders
Russ Saunders is a Chief of Police and Trainer, reach him at http://russsaunders.brandyourself.com or www.linkedin.com/pub/russ-saunders/20/751/683